The year 2018 was extremely busy for the Well Watch Program (WWP) team. We accepted the challenge to bring on schools in Ft Lupton, Brighton, and Wiggins that have groundwater wells at their school. Wells were found at all three cities, but new challenges developed quickly. One of two wells in Ft Lupton still exist but is plugged. One of the two wells in Brighton is open and functioning! However, the well at the high was removed during remodeling several years ago. Once again, Quality Well and Pump is coming to our rescue. In the near future, there will be a new well at Twombly Elementary in Ft Lupton and a new well at Brighton High School. At each of these schools we met with teachers and principals who were excited to come on board with the WWP! Contact was made with the teachers at Wiggins High School and hopefully they will be implementing the WWP in their district soon.
Besides all this new activity, the WWP team continued to work with teachers and students in Windsor, Greeley, LaSalle, Gilcrest, Platteville, and Kersey that have wells at their school. Groundwater geology and hydrology continued to be investigated by monthly water quality testing and logging that data into the WWP web site. The teachers at several of these schools are ready to carry on these investigations on their own with only minimal help from the WWP team! Unfortunately, though several schools had new teachers come on board. This has caused the WWP team to spend more time with those teachers to bring them from a level 1 to a level 2 on our in-service model. This was one of our goals from the beginning, train teachers to carry these activities on by themselves. Unfortunately, some schools will occasional need more help as new teachers join the WWP.
Another sign of success with the WWP is the level of inquiry we are seeing from students involved in the program. These students understand now how precious our groundwater is here in Colorado and how easily it can be contaminated. They also have shown a heighten awareness of the need to conserve and protect our watersheds that connect with groundwater. The Well Watch Program is definitely filling a void for teachers and students with earth systems science content that their curriculum doesn’t have.
The Well Watch Program would not be experiencing the level of success it has seen if not for the financial and professional support it has received from its supporters. Central Colorado Conservancy District has been a big financial and professional supporter of this program from its very beginning. Greeley Waste Water Treatment Department has helped the WWP with thousands of dollars’ worth of supplies since 2014. Quality Well and Pump has been very gracious by the donation of drilling time and supplies from the beginning of the WWP and is continuing today! We look forward to their help with the new drilling in Ft. Lupton and Brighton in 2019! A new supporter of the WWP is Nutrien of Loveland. Their financial support has made a strong impact on helping the new schools that will be joining the program this fall. A very big “Thank You” to their Community Investment Team for taking a chance on a program they just learned about but obviously realize has a very big impact on students! Just recently, our co-coordinator, Ivonne Morales, secured a $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation for Greeley and Weld County, Littler Youth Fund. Support like this is also evidence we are providing a valuable support to teachers and students in their understanding of conservation of Colorado’s most precise resource, water!
Without the support of all these organizations, the Well Watch Program would not have been able to reach the 1,200 students it interacted with in 2018. The 600+ hours coordinators time would also not have been possible without their support. At this time there are 10 schools, 15 teachers, and 7 school districts actively involved in the WWP. This program is unique. There is nothing in the science curriculum of any of these schools that cover this content with the hands-on experience that the Well Watch Program offers.